How I Made a Career Out of Résumé Writing and Make $2,000 a Client

  • Dawid Wiacek is a résumé author and coach who acquired began serving to out buddies on the aspect.
  • He mentioned when he began taking his work severely and charging extra he noticed extra success.
  • He additionally saved his abilities and private model contemporary with trainings and by networking.

This as-told-to essay relies on a dialog with Dawid Wiacek, a 37-year-old govt profession coach and résumé author and the founder of Career Fixer, who’s primarily based in White Plains, New York. The following has been edited for size and readability.

Like most children, I did not even know résumé writing was a career. I ended up on this profession fully accidentally. 

My first job out of faculty was as a customer-service consultant for a tech startup — particularly, an internet job board for executives. I was in my early 20s with no company expertise, and I was serving to managers and senior-level professionals discover jobs. But it taught me a lot, and so I began making use of these abilities by writing résumés on the aspect for household and buddies, usually without spending a dime. 

This preliminary job was largely enhancing, however typically it meant rewriting a résumé as a result of the unique doc I acquired was a faxed copy, or so outdated and irrelevant that it simply made sense to begin contemporary. Occasionally, I’d must create a résumé from scratch as a result of somebody did not have one.

Sometimes, I’d cost a nominal price, perhaps $50, that I referred to as my “ice cream cash”  — since my full-time job coated my foremost bills (however barely), this extra cash I created from résumé writing can be used for nonessential “extras.” I have a bit of a candy tooth, and I like ice cream, in order that’s why I selected that phrase, however I did not spend all of it on ice cream — I would reserve it up and assist pay for issues like weekend getaways and particular nights out.

People have been impressed with the standard of my work, and it not solely made folks really feel higher about themselves however really helped them land job interviews. 

I meandered by way of numerous HR-adjacent roles after my first job, working at a nonprofit, a startup-recruiting company, a advertising company, a giant personal company, and even the federal government. This numerous expertise helps me to today, since my purchasers span all industries and capabilities. 

Once you begin treating résumé writing severely, the sport modifications

When I first began serving to folks with their résumés, I noticed it as a aspect enterprise or a passion. By 2015, I realized that I was actually good at it, and I did not wish to work for anybody else or must commute to a job anymore. But with a regular paycheck, I did not have a lot incentive to construct up a résumé enterprise. I wanted a kick within the rear. 

So that spring, I give up my job. The threat paid off in the long term as a result of I now personal my very own enterprise, make my very own schedule, and do one thing I love that is extremely rewarding. I additionally earn more money than I did at my full-time job, and I do not often work full-time hours.

Today, I’m snug writing govt résumés and teaching C-suite expertise and different professionals. Working with VPs and CEOs is demanding and intense work, but it surely’s extremely rewarding.

Here are some of a very powerful issues I’ve realized about succeeding as a résumé author:

Don’t simply spot typos — assist folks overcome self-doubt

Obviously, writing résumés is about a lot greater than fixing typos: It’s about capturing a individual’s skilled essence and conveying their distinctive worth to {the marketplace}. That’s the half that I get pleasure from most concerning the job. In my eyes, being a nice résumé author and being a nice profession coach are one and the identical.

Most of my purchasers are by way of word-of-mouth referrals, and purchasers now come to me for an built-in suite of companies. I’m not simply a résumé author — I’m a thought associate in how my purchasers method their present job, their subsequent job, and their profession as a entire. I’m additionally a hype man, a wage booster, and a gross sales strategist.

Having a well-written résumé can really be a waste of cash in case your confidence is low, otherwise you lack a clear focus to your job search, otherwise you keep away from networking. A résumé is just half of the candidate’s skilled arsenal. Your perspective, LinkedIn presence, and networking abilities are all profoundly necessary, so I supply companies associated to those components along with résumé rewrites. Because purchasers already trusted and preferred my work with their résumé, it was a pure step for them to rent me for teaching. 

Place a premium on the ROI of your work

It took me a couple of years to construct up a stable sufficient repute that I may make most of my cash from résumé writing, so early on, when I solely had a handful of résumé purchasers, I would additionally tackle adjoining freelance writing work. 

Immediately after going full-time, I raised my charges to roughly $100 per resume. $50 for a résumé rewrite wasn’t going to chop it for overlaying my residing bills, particularly because it took me 5 to 10 hours again then to correctly rewrite a résumé as soon as I added up the consumption name, analysis, formatting, writing, enhancing, shopper emails, and different administrative work. 

After that, I began elevating my fee each six to 12 months — $200 per résumé, then $500, then $800 — simply to see what the market would settle for. Nowadays, I cost $1,500 to $2,000 for résumé tasks, and that does not embody different companies like LinkedIn or govt teaching. Depending on how a lot time it takes, I could make anyplace from $300 to $500 per hour for a résumé undertaking.

My teaching charges hover across the identical hourly fee, relying on whether or not it is profession teaching or govt teaching. My purchasers do not ever ask if I spent three hours or 15 hours on their résumé. They’re paying for my abilities, insights, and the top outcome.

And folks pay. Why? Because if the $400 and even $1,500 funding helps you discover a job that pays tens of 1000’s of {dollars} a 12 months or helps you land a coveted board place, then the ROI is price it. Some of my purchasers are privately rich, however others are underpaid and undervalued, and they do not get pleasure from promoting themselves. A compelling, robust résumé does that work for them.

I really give out most of my recommendation without spending a dime on-line, together with on my LinkedIn profile. But folks do not at all times take heed to free recommendation. Sometimes paying a health coach $100 an hour, or paying a profession coach like me $400 an hour, is the one factor that will get outcomes — it introduces a stage of stress and accountability into the combination that forces folks to get shifting.

Keep your abilities and model sharp

While résumé writing and its affiliated parts comes simple to me now, it wasn’t at all times that method. To develop my ability set and get so far, I’ve attended quite a few conferences (and spoken at a few), learn tons of books and numerous articles on every thing from psychology to expertise improvement, and acquired quite a few certifications associated to the sector.

I’m additionally continuously attending webinars and networking with résumé writers and teaching friends to maintain my recreation sharp. I’ve partnered with small companies, faculties, and establishments, and these partnerships have allowed me to construct my model and entice new purchasers. 

My long-term purpose is to be the most effective profession and govt coach that I might be — and résumé writing will possible at all times be a half of that blend. Résumé writing has allowed me to make the most of my broad abilities in a method that is wildly enjoyable and helps different folks, and I’m so grateful I discovered this vocation.

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